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Our blog keeps you up to date with all the latest developments in the world of social business and enterprise.

Jude Ower Changing the Mindset of an Industry: Doing good in gaming is good for business too
Jude Ower, posted on 19.05.14

Playmob began in 2011, soon after the Haiti earthquake happened. Thousands of lives were destroyed and a huge call to action was issued to rebuild and repair the island. Zynga, an online gaming site, took action. They launched a Sweet Seed that players could purchase to show their support; Zynga made a % donation for each Seed purchased. $1.5m was raised in 5 days, and Zynga noticed a huge uptake in non-spenders spending, engagement and life-time value of a player. Zynga made a decision to open zynga.org, and ensure that giving back and doing good was woven into their suite of social games. In only a few years, they have not only raised $18m for causes, but have begun to see the impact their contribution has made - and the players who participate feel good too.

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Mike Mompi Innovative mental health application gains investment from IVUK Fund
Mike Mompi, posted on 12.05.14

In the latest in a series of exciting social impact investments, we are pleased to announce that ClearlySo client Buddy has received £400,000 investment, including funding from the LGT/Berenberg impact fund IVUK. This is the IVUK fund's second investment since its  first close in December 2013, with  their first investment going to K10, a company that employs apprentices, placing them in the London construction industry - a client with which ClearlySo worked through the  Investment Contract Readiness Fund.

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Rod Schwartz Third Sector | Tempted by banks? Social investors are the better bet
Rod Schwartz, posted on 16.04.14

In the social finance sector, we spend a lot of time explaining to businesses that generate social impact the advantages of securing capital from social investors.These, we argue, are more willing to take a long-term, client-centred view; furthermore, because they are positively motivated by the social impact generated, they have greater alignment with the goals of socially oriented enterprises than conventional investors, which can lead to many benefits, both tangible and intangible.

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Karen Anderson Let's get out of London: social business angel investing
Karen Anderson, posted on 16.04.14

Working across the north of England, the Midlands and Scotland, I am aware of how differently social investment is viewed outside London. There is more scepticism about riskier types of investment. There is also far less happening to support both social enterprises and investors to learn about various types of social investment.

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Stefan Van Maaren The Investment Contract Readiness Fund: results are in
Stefan Van Maaren, posted on 10.04.14

Since the Investment Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF) was launched in May 2012, I have been leading on ClearlySo's work in this area. It has brought us together with many exciting businesses that are creating transformative solutions to social problems across the country.

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Jonny Kates Is this the end of the crowdfunding honeymoon?
Jonny Kates, posted on 04.04.14

Last week, Facebook announced that they had purchased the development company behind the Oculus Rift - the leading virtual reality headset - at a price of $2bn. This latest acquisition by Facebook follows the staggering $11bn buy out of WhatsApp earlier in the year. What appears at first like a fairly innocuous acquisition has been met with a huge amount of backlash from the online community, for two main reasons.

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Rod Schwartz Private Equity Finds its "Social Side"
Rod Schwartz, posted on 01.04.14

As of today, 1 April 2014 the Chair of the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) will be Tim Farazmand, Managing Director at LDC, and a Non-Executive Director of ClearlySo. I have known Tim for about 14 years and commend the BVCA for choosing someone of his reputation, character and stature - although as a Director of ClearlySo you may think I am biased. Nevertheless, for those of us who carefully watch developments in the social impact investment sector I think this is very much a "red letter day" and most definitely not an "April fools" story. Tim has publicly stated that, "One key area I will be focussing on is social impact investment". I think this is an extremely significant development for the broader sector and raises three important issues.

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Clare Jones ClearlySo Non-Executive Director Tim Farazmand takes over Chairmanship of BVCA
Clare Jones, posted on 01.04.14

Tim Farazmand has taken over as Chairman of The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), as of April 2014. He is a Non-Executive Director of ClearlySo and will ensure social impact investing is a key focus during his time as Chair.

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Malcolm Williamson The Skills Support for the Workforce Programme
Malcolm Williamson, posted on 29.03.14

The Skills Support for the Workforce initiative offers fully-funded training to social enterprises and voluntary/community organisations based in Hertfordshire, the South East Midlands and Northamptonshire. We asked Malcolm Williamson, Head of Inspire2Enterprise, to fill us in on what it can do to help grow exciting organisations in these areas.

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Theo Keane DIY Toolkit - Development Impact & You by the Rockefeller Foundation & Nesta
Theo Keane, posted on 21.03.14

Theo Keane is a Senior Programme Manager for Innovation Skills (International Development) for Nesta, the UK's innovation foundation. In partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, Nesta has recently launched Development Impact and You (www.diytoolkit.org), a social innovation toolkit practitioners around the world. We asked Theo to give us a bit more background on what looks like a fantastic resource for development practitioners everywhere.

DIY - Development Impact and You - has been produced by Nesta, in association with the Rockefeller Foundation. It is a toolkit designed to help people find, test and implement new ideas. It is quick to use, simple to apply, and Creative Commons which means that it's also free to use and distribute. It's available at www.diytoolkit.org.

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